Imperial German Navy Deployment, 1914

The first part is a contribution by by Doug Thompson (, with his own comments interspersed throughout. It is supplemented in the second half of this page by Dave Alton.

From Doug Thompson:



Fleet Flag: BB: Frederich der Grosse

1st Battle Squadron
BB: Ostfriedsland, Thurningen, Helgoland, Oldenburg Posen, Rheinland, Nassau, Westfallen

3rd Battle Squadron (incomplete: waiting for Konigs to join.)
BB: Kaiser, Kaiserin, Prinzregnent, Konig Albert
2nd Battle Squadron
BA: Preussen, Schlesien, Hessen, Lothringen Hannover, Schleswig-Holstein, Pommern, Deutschland (The Elsass and Braunschweig are in the Baltic.)

1st Scouting Group
BC: Seydlitz Moltke Von der Tann

2nd Scouting Group
CL: Rostock, Graudenz, Mainz, Coln, Straussburg, Stralsund, Kolberg, Stettin, Stuttgart Berlin, Munchen

3rd Scouting Group
AC: Roon, Yorck Prinz Adalbert, Friederich Carl

CL: Munchen, Lubeck, Hamburg (Flag of SS forces),Berlin, Frauenlob, Medusa, Ariadne, Nymphe, Niobe. (Danzig served as a gunnery training ship and the Bremen was being rearmed)

(I've given up trying to sort out flotilla numbers. Apparently, there was a quite-logical system where the newest destroyers were assigned to the 1st Flotilla. It's a simple system, but still too much of a moving target for me. Anyway, a flotilla a year was ordered, so I've listed them by fiscal year.)

"1912" DF
DD: S13-24

DD: V1-6

DD: V186-191

S176-179 (S178 lost in collison in 1913)

DD: G 169-73
G 165-68
V 162-64

DD: V150-160
V 161

DD: S138-149
(S137 is absent as a training ship)


Arcona (?),Pelikan Nautilus, Albatross (All were in the Baltic, laying defensive minefields)

DD: G132-136 (Speculative)
DD: S114-19 (Pretty sure about these, since the Ems Flotilla provided these boats, which were the ones sunk by the CL Undaunted and accompanying DD in October. They were too slow to run away.) (William Croft notes that the four boats lost in the October 1914 action were S115, S117, S118, S119. S116 was torpedoed in a separate incident. )
DD: S108-13 (Speculative)
DD: S 93-101 (Speculative )

I'm making guesses about which boats were in which flotillas.

3rd SSF
SC: U19-28 (4-20" tt, diesel power)
U18, 17, 16 (these and all others, heavy oil eng. and 4-18" tt)

2nd SSF
SC: U9-15 (U13 and U15 sunk on same day - Aug. 9, 1914)

1st SSF
SS: U3-U8

BC: Goeben
CL: Breslau

(These ships were picked mainly by a process of elimination)
CL: Amazone, Augsburg, Lubeck, Madgeburg, Undine, Thetis, Gazelle
DD: S126-31
S120-24, 125
V 25-6

ATTACHED to Baltic Fleet
Accompanied Baltic Fleet in Sept. 7-9 operation.
BA: Elsass, Braunschweig
AC: Blucher
(Wittelsbach, Wettin, Zahringen, Schwaben, Mecklenburg-- see "Reserve Ships.")

AC: Scharnhorst, Gneisenau
CL: Nurnburg, Leipzig, Emden
GB: Iltis, Jaguar, Tiger, Luchs

CL: Dresden (West Indies)
Karlsruhe (on the way to relieve "Dresden")
Konigsburg (East Africa)
GB: Eber (West Africa)

BC: Derflinger
BB: Grosser Kurfurst

4th Battle Squadron (in Baltic)
BA: Wittelsbach, Wettin, Zahringen, Schwaben, Mecklenburg

5th Battle Squadron (Baltic?)
BA: Kaiser Friedrich III, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Kaiser Karl der Grosse, Kaiser Barbarossoa

6th Battle Squadron (Baltic?)
CD: Siegfried, Beowulf, Frithjof, Heimdall, Hildebrand, Hagen Odin, Agir

These ships are old, have had their armaments reduced in many cases, are almost certainly manned by raw reservists and probably cannot approach their designed speed. And their deployments are uncertain.

Fishery Protection
TB: D6
GB: Zieten

Coast Defense
TB: D7-9
GB: Panther

Harbor Defense with reduced armament
TB: T11, 13, 14, 15, 20 and 22

Ditto, in the North Sea (T25-T72 collided in the NS on 11.06.14, so it seems a safe guess they were stationed there.) TB: T24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30

(T50 foundered in the Baltic on 09.28.14)
TB: T43-47, 49-57

TB: T58-65

North Sea (Minesweeping)
TB: T66-73

(Minesweeping and Tending)
TB: T75-81

(Training; probably in Baltic)

First of all, I forgot to mention the S 90 - the only German warship to my knowledge that ever engaged and sank a warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The old Japanese cruiser/converted minelayer "Takachiho" was torpedoed by the S 90 in Chinese waters soon after the war began. The sinking caused at least 264 deaths.

German navy gunboats helped shore batteries shell the grounded IJN destroyer "Shirotae" later, and the Japanese "Torpedo Boat 33" sank after hitting a German mine.

But unless there's a case I do not know about, the tiny S 90-Takachiho incident was the only time the navies of Germany and Japan ever fought each other.

Obviously, the S 90 should be included in my "Fleets 1914" listing for the East Asia Squadron for Germany, along with the DD "Taku."

Finally, Donald W. Mitchell's "A History of Russian and Soviet Sea Power" (1974) should be listed as a source. I could not remember where I got the names of the German Baltic Fleet light cruisers. I found them again while looking at Mitchell's book on the Russians.

The High Seas Fleet 2nd August 1914

Contributed by Dave Alton ( He lists his sources at the bottom.

North Sea

Fleet Flagship (Admiral von Ingenohl):

Battleship Friedrich der Grosse

1st. Squadron (Vice Admiral von Lans):

(1st Division) Battleship Ostfriesland (Flagship)

Battleship Helgoland

Battleship Thuringen

Battleship Oldenburg

(2nd Division) Battleship Posen (2nd Flag, Rear Admiral Gadeke)

Battleship Westfalen

Battleship Rheinland

Battleship Nassau

2nd. Squadron (Vice Admiral Scheer):

(1st Division) Battleship Preussen (Flagship)

Battleship Hessen

Battleship Lothringen

Battleship Deutschland

(2nd Division) Battleship Hannover (2nd Flag, Commodore Mauve)

Battleship Pommern

Battleship Schleswig-Holstein

Battleship Schlesien

3rd. Squadron (Rear Admiral Funke -2nd Flag, Rear Admiral. Schaumann in Konig on completion):

Battleship Prinzregent Luitpold (Flagship)

Battleship Kaiser

Battleship Kaiserin

Battleship Konig Albert

Battleship Grosser Kurfürst (1)

4th. Squadron (Vice Admiral Eberhardt Schmidt):

(1st Division) Battleship Wittelsbach (Flagship)

Battleship Wettin

Battleship Schwaben

Battleship Mecklenburg

(2nd Division) Battleship Braunschweig (2nd Flag, Rear Admiral Alberts)

Battleship Elsass

Battleship Zahringen

5th. Squadron (Vice Admiral Grabow):

(1st Division) Battleship Kaiser Wilhelm II (Flagship)

Battleship Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse

Battleship Kaiser Barbarossa

(2nd Division) Battleship Kaiser Friedrich III (2nd Flag, Commodore Begas)

Battleship Kaiser Karl der Grosse

Battleship Worth

Battleship Brandenburg

6th. Squadron (Rear Admiral Eckermann):

(1st Division) Coast Defence Ship Hildebrand (Flagship)

Coast Defence Ship Heimdall

Coast Defence Ship Hagen

Coast Defence Ship Frithjof

(2nd Division) Coast Defence Ship Agir (2nd Flag, Rear Admiral Behring)

Coast Defence Ship Odin

Coast Defence Ship Beowulf

Coast Defence Ship Siegfried

1st. Scouting Group (Rear Admiral Hipper):

Battlecruiser Seydlitz (Flagship)

Battlecruiser Moltke

Battlecruiser von der Tann

Armoured Cruiser Blucher

Battlecruiser Derfflinger (2)

2nd. Scouting Group (Rear Admiral Maas):

Light Cruiser Koln (Flagship)

Light Cruiser Mainz

Light Cruiser Stralsund

Light Cruiser Kolberg

Light Cruiser Rostock (3)

Light Cruiser Strassburg

Light Cruiser Graudenz (from 10/8/14)

3rd. Scouting Group (from 25th August 1914 4th. Scouting Group):

Light Cruiser Munchen (Flagship)

Light Cruiser Danzig

Light Cruiser Stuttgart

Light Cruiser Hela

Light Cruiser Frauenlob

4th. Scouting Group (from 25th August 1914 3rd. Scouting Group) (Rear Admiral Rebeur-Paschwitz):

Armoured Cruiser Roon (Flagship)

Armoured Cruiser Yorck

Armoured Cruiser Prinz Aldalbert (4)

Armoured Cruiser Prinz Heinrich

5th. Scouting Group (from mid August 1914 in the Baltic command) (Rear Admiral Jasper): (5)

Protected Cruiser Hansa (Flagship)

Protected Cruiser Vineta

Protected Cruiser Victoria Louise

Protected Cruiser Hertha

Torpedo Boat Flotillas. (6)

1st Flotilla, Flotilla Leader V187.

1st Half Flotilla V191 (leader), V188, V189, V190, G197.

2nd Half Flotilla G196 (leader) G192, G193, G194, G195.

2nd Flotilla, Flotilla Leader S149.

3rd Half Flotilla S143 (leader, sank 3/8/14 replaced by S138), S139,

S140, S141, S142.

4th Half Flotilla S144 (leader), S145, S146, S147, S148.

3rd Flotilla, Flotilla Leader S167.

5th Half Flotilla V162 (leader), V163, V164, S165, S166.

6th Half Flotilla G173 (leader), S168, S169, G170, G172.

4th Flotilla, Flotilla Leader G113.

7th Half Flotilla S119 (leader) S115, S116, S117, S118.

8th Half Flotilla G108 (leader), G109, G110, G111, G112.

5th Flotilla, Flotilla Leader G12.

9th Half Flotilla V6 (leader), V2, V3, V4, V5.

10th Half Flotilla G11 (leader), G7, G8, G9, G10.

6th Flotilla, Flotilla Leader V161,

11th Half Flotilla V151 (leader), V152, V153, V154, V155.

12th Half Flotilla V156 (leader), V157, V158, V159, V160.

7th Flotilla, Flotilla Leader S24.

13th Half Flotilla S14 (leader), S15, S16, S17, S18.

14th Half Flotilla S19 (leader), S20, S21, S22, S23.

8th Flotilla, Flotilla Leader G175.

15th Half flotilla S128 (leader), S121, S126, S130, S131.

16th Half Flotilla S176 (leader), S177, S179, S120, G134.

U-Boat Flotillas. (7)

1st U-Boat Flotilla, light cruiser Hamburg (flotilla leader).

1st Half flotilla V150 (leader), replaced by S122 12/8/14, U5, U6*, U7,

U8, U9, U10, U11*.

2nd Half Flotilla S99 (leader), U12*, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18.

2nd U-Boat Flotilla, light cruiser Stettin (flotilla leader).

3rd Half Flotilla S100 (leader), U19, U20, U21, U22, U24.

4th Half Flotilla S101 (leader) U23, U25, U26* U27, U28, U29 to join on


(* u-boats refitting)

Mine Warfare

1st Minesweeping Division D3 (leader), T24, T38, T42, T43, T44, T45,

T74, T75, T76, T77, T78, T79, T80, T81.

2nd Minesweeping Division D6 (leader), T28, T30, T39, T46, T47, T49,

T50, T51, T52, T53, T54, T55, T56, T57.

3rd Minesweeping Division D8 (leader), T25, T29, T31, T33, T34, T35,

T36, T37, T40, T41, T71, T72, T73.

1 Auxiliary minesweeper division with 8 fishing boats

Minelayers Albatross, Nautilus and Pelikhan.

Auxiliary Minelayers (9)

Auxiliary Cruisers Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and Victoria Luise converting.

Tenders (attached to fleet flagship, battle squadrons etc.), D4, D5, = S96, S98, T11, T14, T15, T20, T70, T88, T89. Diverse Auxiliary fleet support vessels.

Outpost Flotilla North Sea:

50 armed fishing boats

Coast Defence Division Ems:

Light Cruiser Arcona (leader)

Torpedo boats D9, T85, T87

14 armed fishing boats

Coast Defence Division Jade/Weser:

Light Cruiser Ariadne (leader)

Light Cruiser Berlin

Light Cruiser Niobe

Fishery Protection Ship Zieten

Tender Drache

Tender Hay

Special Duty Ship Blitz

Torpedo boats D2 (Alice Roosevelt), S103, S107, T61, T62, T66, T68.

Jade and Wilhelmshaven auxillary minesweeping divisions (30 armed fishing boats)

Coast Defence Division Elbe:

Light Cruiser Nymphe (leader)

Light Cruiser Medusa

Tender Fuchs

Tender Pfeil

Torpedoboats S92, S114, T59, T64, T67, T69

Survey Ship Hyane

Cuxhaven auxillary minesweeping division

Outpost Half Flotilla Helgoland:

Auxiliary (sea traffic control) Helga

Torpedoboats D7, T82, T83, T84, T86


Coast Defence Group Baltic (Grand Admiral Prinz Heinrich von Preussen, Rear Admiral Mischke commanded at sea, replaced late August by Rear Admiral Behring)

Armoured Cruiser Friedrich Carl (9)

Light Cruiser Augsburg

Light Cruiser Magdeburg

Light Cruiser Amazone

Light Cruiser Lubeck

Light Cruiser Thetis

Light Cruiser Gazelle

Light Cruiser Undine

Protected Cruiser Freya (10)

Gunboat Panther

Torpedo boats V25, V26, V186, S127, S102, S97 (Sleipner), S94, S93, S91, D1 (Carmen)

U-Boat Flotilla, D10(leader), U1, U3, U4, UA. (11)

Auxiliary Minelayers (12)

Diverse fleet support auxillaries

Outpost Half Flotilla Kiel/Eider:

Tender Delphin

Torpedoboats T27, T58, T60, T63, T65

Survey Ship Hyane

Auxiliary Minelayer Primus

Kiel auxiliary minesweeping division


East Asia Squadron (Vice Admiral Graf Spee):

Armoured Cruiser Scharnhorst (Flagship)

Armoured Cruiser Gneisenau

Light Cruiser Emden

Light Cruiser Leipzig

Light Cruiser Nurnberg

Gunboat Iltis

Gunboat Jaguar

Gunboat Tiger

Gunboat Luchs

River Gunboat Vaterland (Nanking)

River Gunboat Otter (Nanking)

River Gunboat Tsingtau (Canton)

Torpedoboat S 90

Old Cruiser Cormoran (laid up)

Auxiliary Cruisers Prinz Eitel Friedrich and Cormoran (ex Rjasan) converting.


Mediterranean Division (Rear Admiral Souchon):

Battlecruiser Goeben

Light Cruiser Breslau

Station ship Loreley (Constantinople)

East and West America Station

Light Cruiser Karlsruhe

Light Cruiser Dresden

Auxiliary Cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm (armed by Karlsruhe 6th August 1914)

East African Station

Light Cruiser Konigsberg

Survey Ship Möwe

West African Station

Gunboat Eber (armed Cap Trafalgar 31st August 1914)

South Seas Station

Old Cruiser Geier

Survey Ship Planet


(1). Grosser Kurfurst commissioned for trials on the 31/7/14 but was not operational until 9/14. The commissioning and operational dates for her sisters are, Konig 10/8/14 - 1/15, Markgraf 1/10/14 - 1/15, Kronprinz 8/11/14 - 2/15.

(2). Derfflinger commissioned for trials 1/9/14, operational 11/14.

(3). Rostock, during fleet operations, was attached to the battlefleet as 1st Leader of Torpedo Boats. Kolberg was later designated 2nd Leader of Torpedo Boats with the scouting groups.

(4). Prinz Adalbert was detached to the Baltic group in late Aug. 1914.

(5). The ships of the 5th. Scouting Group were all decommissioned in Nov.1914, as no longer fit for first line service and were returned to training duties.

(6). Additional information on torpedo boats is as follows:-

9th Flotilla, this formed in Oct.1914, with the new large boats of the 1913 programme, V25-30 and S31-36.

19th Half Flotilla, in the western Baltic in Oct.1914 was, G134 (leader), S127, S125, S123, S120, S102, and S97.

I am still researching the disposition of the remaining boats. Information I have states that V1 andS13 were part of the 5th flotilla at Heligoland, presumably to replace boats under refit. Other boats not identified in the list, or these notes, may have been part of the training forces, under refit or left in reserve.

Note that the old, small torpedo boats S58-S89 were not re-numbered in the T series until 4/9/14, (together with S91- S113). However I have shown them as in the T series, so as to differentiate between them and the 'fleet' boats.

(7). During fleet operations Hamburg was attached as Leader of U-Boats to the 4th Scouting Group. After Heligoland, Stettin transfered to the 4th Scouting Group. Berlin also transfered to the 4th Scouting Group during the Autumn.

(8). Auxillary minelayers for the North Sea included Konigin Luise, Kaiser, Preussen and Apollo. Most were converted ferries or holiday excursion ships. Preussen and Apollo soon returned to trade.

(9). Friedrich Carl was under refit until 21/8/14, the remaining armoured cruiser Furst Bismarck was not commissioned until 28/11/14, (with the crew from the Friedrich Carl?), but her poor condition meant she was soon re-assigned to training duties.

(10). Freya was decommissioned 23/8/14, due to her poor condition.

(11). U1 was employed for local defence at Kiel, U2 was under going a major refit, UA (ex Norwegian A5) completed 14/8/14.

(12). These included Deutschland, Odin, Hertha, Silvania, Prinz Sigismund, Prinz Waldemar and Prinz Adalbart. Pre-war careers were similar to the North Sea auxillary minelayers.

Many of the older battleships and cruisers did not complete their commissioning until September.

Comments and References

The above fleet list is based on "Die Deutsche Hochseeflotte am 2. August 1914" which is to be found here,. This, although an excellent article and which filled a number of gaps in my own knowledge, has to my mind a number of errors and omissions. These I have attempted to correct and I have added a number of pertinent notes and comments. The original is in German, which I do not speak or read, apart from a knowledge of naval terminology. Any changes from the original are my responsibility. I also used a copy of the "Rangliste der Kaiserliche Marine" for 1914. Much additional information and confirmation came from fleet lists in the Polish language book 'Pierwsza Wojina Swiatowa Na Morzu' by Jan Gozdawa-Golebiowski and Tadeusz Wywerka Prekurat.

I have also used numerous other sources, (mostly books: Conways, Groener, Campbell, Halpern, Goldrick, Pavlovich etc. and some internet sites) to help amend the original. To save space I have not listed these in full but would be happy to provide a list if requested.

I would welcome any comments, additions or corrections.

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Last Updated: 2 September, 2002.